Gather & Gather’s innovative partnership with Oxford Brookes University and Co-op triumphs at CUBO Awards 2022

Gather & Gather’s collaboration with Oxford Brookes University and Co-op has won the Business Partnership of the Year award at the CUBO Awards 2022.

The annual CUBO (College & University Business Officers) Awards recognise exceptional achievements in commercial and campus services, including catering, hospitality and retail.

The three-way partnership – which sees Gather & Gather provide bespoke catering hospitality services for Oxford Brookes University and run the campus Co-op store as a franchisee – won the award for its delivery of a holistic foodservice and retail strategy that meets the diverse needs of all students, staff and visitors at the university.

The judges were impressed by the successful approach, which is based on shared values and sees on-campus catering and retail outlets working together rather than in competition to achieve a cohesive experience that ensures variety, availability and budget-accessibility.

The benefits to date include increasing the opportunities to engage with students and the use of insight to continually meet their specific needs, elevating the customer experience at all touch points through new technology, supporting Oxford Brookes University’s Fairtrade status and sustainability objectives, increasing the choice and variety of food offers including themed pop-ups, and providing job opportunities for students. 

Gather & Gather, Oxford Brookes University and Co-op were also praised for their programme of lockdown support for students, including sustenance packages, recipe cards, and at-home meal kits, as well as bake-off ingredients for online bake-along demos.

Matt Symonds, Gather & Gather’s managing director, said: “We’re over the moon to have been recognised in this way. The CUBO Award is testament to the amazing, innovative partnership that we have developed with Oxford Brookes University and Co-op and the great work that the team has put in over the past two years. Our holistic approach has created a model that successfully meets the diverse needs of everyone on campus and we will continue to build on this to keep the offer relevant and accessible.”

Martin Rogers, Head of New Channels at Co-op said: “We’re delighted to be working with Gather and Gather and Oxford Brookes University at the Co-op Oxford Brookes Franchise store and we’re proud to be able to better serve the students, campus and surrounding community with a range of great quality, value and ethically sourced products. Our Co-op purpose is about connecting communities, bringing people together and making a difference, and that rings true for the stores in which we operate but also the partners we choose to work with to make this happen.”

CUBO (College & University Business Officers) is the association for commercial and campus services professionals working in higher and further education institutions in the UK and Ireland and its annual awards recognise exceptional achievements in this field.

Gather & Gather, which is part of CH&CO, has provided bespoke catering and hospitality services for Oxford Brookes University since 2019. It opened its first retail shop as a Co-op franchisee on campus in September 2020, launching one of the largest Co-op stores at a UK university.

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